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Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 Introduction to Critical Race Theory.

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1 Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 Introduction to Critical Race Theory

2 Sidenote on History of Cultural Studies Pioneered by working-class scholars in the UK after WWII (1950’s and 1960s) Reaction to “highbrow,” elite idea of culture (i.e., the only “real” culture is Shakespeare, ballet, opera – everything else junk) Asserted that current popular/mass culture contained knowledges worth studying

3 Origins of Critical Race Theory Offshoot of Critical Legal Studies (law schools) 1970’s and 80’s: students and scholars frustrated with the Civil Rights Movement – too slow, not enough being done (reliance on changing the law to produce equality) Began to question how the law may actually be producing and sustaining inequality

4 What is Critical Race Theory? Note use of the word “critical”

5 What is Critical Race Theory? Note use of the word “critical” Other forms of “race theory”: phrenology, eugenics, biological determinism [all “science”-based], racial hygiene [“purity”]

6 What is Critical Race Theory? Note use of the word “critical” Other forms of “race theory”: phrenology, eugenics, biological determinism [all “science”-based], racial hygiene [“purity”] Critical Race Theory takes from Cultural Studies in that it asks, “How do we know what we know?”

7 Keywords for Critical Race Theory Race, racism, racialized, racialization, racial formation, white, whiteness, white privilege, white supremacy, black, blackness, Latino/a, Asian, Asian American, Native American, indigenous, First Peoples, Arab, Muslim, mestizo, hapa, mixed-race, people of color, structure, liberalism, capitalism, capital, identity, embodiment, material, the body, minoritized, minoritization

8 Key Questions for CRT What is race? How race is constituted legally, culturally, socially, economically, etc?

9 Key Questions for CRT What is race? How race is constituted legally, culturally, socially, economically, etc? What are the origins and implications of the way we think about race?

10 Key Questions for CRT What is race? How race is constituted legally, culturally, socially, economically, etc? What are the origins and implications of the way we think about race? How does “race” mean different things in different contexts, times, and places?

11 Key Questions for CRT What is race? How race is constituted legally, culturally, socially, economically, etc? What are the origins and implications of the way we think about race? How does “race” mean different things in different contexts, times, and places? How does race interact with other forms of identity and embodiment?

12 Key Questions for CRT What is race? How race is constituted legally, culturally, socially, economically, etc? What are the origins and implications of the way we think about race? How does “race” mean different things in different contexts, times, and places? How does race interact with other forms of identity and embodiment? What creates the conditions for inequality?

13 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure.

14 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure. Race is not biological; it is socially constructed, yet it is real (race is a fiction with material consequences).

15 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure. Race is not biological; it is socially constructed, yet it is real (race is a fiction with material consequences). Example: housing – redlining

16 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure. Race is not biological; it is socially constructed, yet it is real (race is a fiction with material consequences). Example: housing – redlining Whiteness as a form of property

17 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure. Race is not biological; it is socially constructed, yet it is real (race is a fiction with material consequences). Example: housing – redlining Whiteness as a form of property Intersectionality

18 Axioms (starting points) Racism is not an event (or a feeling), it’s a structure. Race is not biological; it is socially constructed, yet it is real (race is a fiction with material consequences). Example: housing – redlining Whiteness as a form of property Intersectionality Ignoring the role of race in society will not make racism go away.

19 Why ask these q’s? What’s at stake? Social justice. Outcomes for health, wealth, academic achievement, upward mobility, all indexed by race (and class, too).

20 Why ask these q’s? What’s at stake? Social justice. Outcomes for health, wealth, academic achievement, upward mobility, all indexed by race (and class, too). Ruth Wilson Gilmore defines racism as “the state-sanctioned or extra-legal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death” (Golden Gulag 28). [race is the production of differential outcomes]

21 Case Study: the United States Citizenship tied to race; race tied to citizenship

22 Case Study: the United States Citizenship tied to race; race tied to citizenship Naturalization Act of 1790 (jus soli or jus sanguinis) – free whites (men)

23 Case Study: the United States Citizenship tied to race; race tied to citizenship Naturalization Act of 1790 (jus soli or jus sanguinis) – free whites (men) 1870 – persons of African nativity or descent

24 Case Study: the United States Citizenship tied to race; race tied to citizenship Naturalization Act of 1790 (jus soli or jus sanguinis) – free whites (men) 1870 – persons of African nativity or descent Petition to be white (why not black?)

25 Case Study: the United States Citizenship tied to race; race tied to citizenship Naturalization Act of 1790 (jus soli or jus sanguinis) – free whites (men) 1870 – persons of African nativity or descent Petition to be white (why not black?) Rationale: legal precedent, scientific evidence, or common sense

26 Racial Prerequisite Cases List of cases: hite05.htm hite05.htm For more, see Ian Haney Lopez’s book White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race

27 Readings What did you not know before that you know now? Did any of the articles cause you to reconsider an already-held stance? What did you find difficult or troubling? Please refer to specific examples from the text

28 For Further Discussion… Last class we asked, “why study media”? Now we’re asking, “why study race”? How do you define race? Why do people have different understandings of the term? What, in your understanding, is the difference between “race” and “ethnicity”? What does it mean when someone claims ethnicity instead of race (i.e., identifying as Irish instead of white)? How do you define racism? How does the media usually talk about race and racism, in your experience? How does the media frame what is considered racist/not racist? How does it suggest we should combat racism?


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